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Home Sports From High School Football Kicker to Concordia Women’s Soccer Player

Photo by Jordyn Sturms.


by Jordyn Sturms


“Ready.” Her foot taps twice. “Set.” Her foot taps three times. The ball is snapped and she takes off running.

In high school, freshman defender Kaitlyn Sims of Concordia’s women’s soccer team went from defending soccer goals to kicking the point after touchdown for the Winter Springs High School Bears.

Sims’ father Raleigh Sims, a state champion kicker for T.C. Williams High School (the Virginia high school featured in “Remember the Titans”) and special teams coach at Winter Springs, taught his daughter to kick a football at the age of 12.

Kaitlyn Sims told the head football coach at the end of her junior year in high school that she wanted to join the football team. The first day of football tryouts she was directed toward the dance team’s location down the hall. But when they saw her kick, there was no more confusion and no more questions were asked.

Two months of summer training involved football practice from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by soccer practice.

“I was really fit that summer,” Sims said.

Sims endured training and padded up for every game. She received her own locker room, made from a weight-room storage closet. Late Friday-night football games led into early Saturday morning film review. Sims showed her dedication to the team and in turn became one of them.

“They were all like my brothers,” Sims said. “Once they saw I could kick, I earned their respect.”

Sims enjoyed seeing the other team’s reaction after walking down the center to shake hands. The boys were shocked, as heads turned and murmurs filtered through the line. The Winter Springs cheerleaders showed their excitement by tackling and giving her hugs after the game.

Sims now has a new perspective on the familiar sport. Having sat through five hours of film every Saturday morning, she continues to analyze the game out of habit, but as a fan, the feeling is not what it once was.

“You don’t experience it in the stands,” Sims said.

When a touchdown was near, Sims felt a different kind of excitement and rush of adrenaline, knowing her time to step out on the field was near. She said there is a hype that is felt on the turf in the midst of the whistles and chaos and tackles.

“I’ve never experienced it in soccer,” Sims said. “It’s probably something I’ll never experience again.”

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